But it's also the first winter workouts as Nittany Lions for five early enrollees - junior college transfer Tarow Barney, and early high school graduates Michael O'Connor, DeAndre Thompkins, Chasz Wright, and Antoine White.
Some of Penn State's team leaders are making it a point to show their newest teammates the college football ropes.
“They're still high schoolers at heart,” rising junior cornerback Jordan Lucas says. “And they need somebody - a veteran guy - to come and take them under their wing, show them the ropes. Everything's coming at you full speed.”
This offseason also marks the first winter workouts and spring practices for QB Christian Hackenberg.
Adding strength is among the top priorities for the Big Ten Freshman of the Year.
“Yea it's very important for me, it's very important for the team, very important for each and every one of us that strap it up on Saturdays,” Hackenberg says. “So we're really going to work hard and put our nose to the grindstone, get in with this new staff, and really get after it.”
As for what that hard work is looking like, the Nittany Lions Friday took part in the infamous sled drills - a grueling conditioning workout put in place by former strength coach Craig Fitzgerald.
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